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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton: F1 was the last thing I wanted to talk about after Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Formula 1 was the last thing he wanted to discuss with his family during the winter break, still reeling from the disappointment of Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton Bahrain
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To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton says the winter break, spent away from his phone and away from Formula 1, offered him the best time he has ever had with his family, as he looked to put the controversies of Abu Dhabi behind him.

The seven-time World Champion fell silent on social media over Christmas as the sport feared losing their biggest star following a 2021 season finale that turned sour.

Hamilton branded the events surrounding Max Verstappen's last-lap pass to secure the title as "manipulated" in the heat of the moment as he saw a record eighth crown slip from his grasp.

Since then, Michael Masi, the Race Director that day at the Yas Marina Circuit, has been removed from his position, while a report into what exactly happened during those final laps is set to be published.

Hamilton explains how he "switched off" from F1

But while the FIA looked to bring about change within the sport, Hamilton was spending time with his family as he switched off entirely from F1.

"As soon as I went away, I switched off completely. I don't generally speak to anyone then. I wasn't on my phone through the whole break, I was just with my family," Hamilton explained to media including RacingNews365.com.

"There wasn't a ban [on talking about F1], but it was definitely the last thing I really wanted to talk to anyone about.

"I speak to my dad about those things, because it's something we started together, but we didn't touch on it.

"It was generally more about being present, living in the moment, creating memories. We know that sometimes in life we get so focused and so stuck into things like work that we forget to do those things.

"It was a great time, just refreshing with them, really. And it was the best period of time I've actually ever had with my family."

Abu Dhabi is "done and dusted" for Hamilton

As the sport waits to read the FIA's report into the handling of the late-race Safety Car that played a part in deciding the 2021 championship, Hamilton has now shifted his attention to the new season.

"I feel like I addressed pretty much everything I needed and wanted to address last week. I don't really have any more to add to it," he said.

"I'm here solely to focus on my job now, which is getting on top of this new car, the new regulations and moving this team forward.

"There's no point looking back or commenting on any of it. It's done and dusted."

The FIA's report is due out on the Friday of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend (18 March) – although it is not yet known whether it will be made available to the public in full.

Also interesting:

With F1 pre-season testing getting underway in Barcelona this week, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to what to expect.

F1 2022 Barcelona pre-season test RN365 News dossier

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